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UK Athletics

cardiff challenge to commence 

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Jess Judd
20 January 2017 

The fourth instalment of the British Athletics Cross Challenge series takes place in Cardiff on Sunday 22 January, with Jess Judd (coach: Mick Judd, club: Chelmsford) and Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans, Swansea Harriers) ones to watch in the senior races.

Griffiths earned his first victory in Cardiff at the 2016 edition, winning the event after a series of podium finishers in previous years. It kick-started a fine year for the Welshman who returned to the city’s streets with a personal best at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships a few months later. He will be out for the win once again this time around as he competes in his second cross challenge event of the 16/17 series.

He will face competition from Owain Jones (Conrad Milton, Bristol & West) who is currently seventh in the overall standings after solid results in Milton Keynes and Antrim – whilst Kristian Jones (Swansea Harriers), winner of the Inter-District race at the Great Edinburgh XCountry earlier this month, Graham Rush (Cheltenham) and Joshua Grace (Mick Woods, Aldershot Farnham & District) will also be forcing the issue at the front of the contest.

U23 team gold medallist from the 2016 European cross country championships Judd will seek to build on her recent good form on the terrain in the senior women’s race. The Loughborough University student finished fourth here last year and will have a battle on her hands over the 6.9km course.

Lauren Deadman (Bill Foster, Havering), seventh in the current standings, will challenge as will world junior mountain running (uphill) bronze medallist Bronwen Jenkinson (Eryri) and Emma Clayton (Andrew Henderson, Leeds City).

Jonathan Shields (Michael Thompson, Sheffield & Dearne) won the battle against Hugo Milner (Chris Woodhouse, Derby) in Antrim last week, but both athletes are currently deadlocked at the top of the U20 men standings. Cardiff will offer the opportunity to reignite that battle with Scottish athletes Sol Sweeney and Ben Greenwood (both Catriona Helen Tavendale, Perty Strathtay) also in contention.

Welsh athletes Cari Hughes (Andrew Walling, Menai) and Heidi Davies (Brecon) will be ones to watch out for in the U20 women’s race, which is set to be a tight contest for the podium places.

The meeting in Cardiff incorporates the Celtic International races as well as the Welsh University XC Championships and Schools Invitational races. The action gets underway from 11am on Sunday morning.

For more information, please visit the British Athletics website: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/competitions/the-british-athletics-cross-challenge/